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Arrival in Almerimar

We'd noticed that some of the local boats stayed very close to the cliffs as they were following the coast, tucked in just out of the strong winds that were coming off the mountains, so we thought we'd give it a try. In the Mediterranean the wind often tends to pick up as the heat of the day builds and drop off again in the evening, so we left at 06:00 and were out of the bay before the sun rose.

We managed to stay just out of the strong winds, watching the white breakers just off to our port side until we were close to Cabo de Gato. We'd reckoned this part might be tough and the wind was forecast to be in front of us again all day. Soon, we were once more crashing through big waves, working hard to make headway. To make matters more complicated the pilot book warned of a rock "about one mile off the cape which rough seas break over", rather than give it's exact location - and there were breaking waves everywhere. We continued to hammer into the wind, and just to be sure, made a long detour out into deep waters to avoid the mysteriously located rock.

As we began to pass Cabo de Gato, slipping out of the acceleration zone, the wind eased. It was still in front of us but it wasn't so strong. To starboard we could see the city of Almeria in the distant mist, and we knew that Almerimar, our destination for this trip, was now, not so far away.

Carita was getting some rest and I sat in the cockpit looking at the flat, featureless coastline. The strong feeling of sadness I often get at the end of a trip began to take over. When I'm heading to a destination and I know I'll be leaving the boat there, not sailing any further, and then when it turns out to be a place that I'd rather go past, part of me just wants to keep on going. Not finish the trip. Keep sailing, keep travelling. Sail on past Almerimar, past Gibraltar, out into the Atlantic, then head south. But I knew Carita had to be back at work in a few days and I wanted to be with her, not sailing back to South America on my own. So I punched the autopilot onto the heading for Almerimar.

We motored in and berthed. It was an ageing tourist resort with a big marina and fat British people without shirts on. It was disappointing and we wanted to be back on the beach in Formentera. Then I remembered an old, favourite poem I had onboard called Ithaka and handed it to Carita. It tells of how your destination isn't what travelling is about. Travelling is about the journey.

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Planning on visiting South America again, same route or waters new?

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